Education technology in Africa: a market overview

As the education sector becomes an ever-growing area of development in regions including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, we look at the state of the education technology market in Africa.

Africa is the most youthful continent in the world, with almost half of the population younger than 15 years old. When considering Africa’s demographic profile, as well as that by 2035 the number of Africans joining the workforce will exceed that of the rest of the world combined, it’s no wonder the education sector is a primary focus. 

With a focus on education, comes the opportunity to transform learning in Africa through education technology. 

Education technology in Africa

Startups bringing innovation to life

Young entrepreneurs across Africa are leading the charge when it comes to education technology in Africa, bringing adopted robotic teaching assistants, VR experiences, AI, machine learning and virtual classrooms to the fore. From companies like Brainshare in Uganda, a mobile app enabling students to exchange school notes and revision, to Student Hub in South Africa, which offers smart education technology through e-books and other resources, we are seeing the start-up culture of education technology in Africa driving the industry forward.

The growing private sector

New research reports that 21% of African children and young people are already being educated in the private sector, and that by 2021 this will likely grow to 25%. With the future of an emerging market like Africa relying on a mix of public and private education, there is a vital need for continued investment in private sector education. 
Driven by consumer demand, the innovation market and the fiscal realities of governments in the region, we will likely see the development of a hybrid system – or public private partnership – in Africa in the years to come. 

As the report The Business of Education in Africa from Caerus Capital states, “public demand for education at all levels will only increase with larger, urban-dwelling middle-class populations, while growing economies and technology can surely provide resources and inputs to support education transformation”. 

The report argues that this alone will not meet the demand for education within the region, so complementary solutions from the private sector, both for-profit and non-for-profit, will help to fill this gap.

Bridging the gap in accessibility

The challenges that remain within the education market of Africa are primarily around access to, quality of, and relevance of education. With many young people in Africa not able to read because of a lack of access to quality education, technology is becoming pushed as a key part of democratising access to education within the region. 

While bringing education technology into the region is important, it is just as important to ensure that students and teachers understand how these technologies work and how they can be harnessed for success.
The Business of Education in Africa from Caerus Capital, they stated that “harnessing the continent’s enormous potential, while addressing some of its key issues, is the greatest challenge ahead for those engage in the region”. 

This growing potential is part of the reason Bett MEA 2020 will provide an opportunity to gain more of an understanding of the landscape of education technology in Africa in the years ahead.

Shaping the future of education technology at Bett MEA

To meet the industry professionals and experts who are charting the course in education technology, enquire about participation options with Bett MEA 2020 today.
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